Certain luxuries must be put aside in these tough economic times. Motorcycle often are one of those luxuries, seen as expensive toys, especially when you’re talking about superbikes made by Ducati. The Italian motorcycle manufacturer has been in financial decline since 2008 with sales cut sharply in half and has finally succumbed to debt. It was announced yesterday that they will be bought out by Volkswagen’s Audi unit for a reported $1.12 billion.
This purchase is nearly 30 years in the making, VW chairman Ferdinand Piech coveting the brand since passing up an opportunity to buy it in 1985. Hopefully there shouldn’t be any major upheaval in the motorcycle brand following this purchase, Piech being a Ducati rider himself. This move is likely to be a way to extend Audi’s longstanding rivalry with BMW to the superbike realm.
What this truly means for the Italian manufacturer, only time will tell. But for now – thanks to VW – those sexy fire-engine red 1199 Panigales will continue to roll off the line.